A new podcast for me this year, and for everyone, is Pod Save America, the podcast created by former speechwriters in President Obama’s administration. It acts as a tonic or a resistance in the Trump era. It seems to be a successful rallying cry so far for people who are disillusioned at the current government. It is one of the most popular podcasts now. They are even taking the show on the road. It is released twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays, which is a little too much for me. I enjoy the Monday ones the best, probably because the hosts are Jon Lovett and Tommy Vietor, in addition to Jon Favreau, who I think do a better job than for the Thursday show when it is just Favreau and Dan Pfieffer. Favreau is usually in the role of setting things up, kind of the straight man, so it is stronger when there are two people playing off him instead of one (and Pfeiffer does have a hesitating way of speaking that isn’t great for audio). Also, as the show develops further, they have to find a way of better integrating the guest interviews with the introductory news punditry round-up: too often they steal the thunder from their guests, and so why listen to their guests?
In this photo of the back of our car, you can see the outlines of where a car magnet had once been. That magnet was political. It said, “Hillary ’16.” The reason you don’t see it there is because someone in the parking lot of our hotel in Pittsburgh thought it’d be a good idea to remove the magnet.
At first we thought it was stolen. We felt victimized — doubly so, considering who won. Being back in western Pennsylvania, though, it seemed likely that some Tr*mp supporter feeling embolden but also a coward thought he or she would just rip off someone else’s property. We later did find the magnet face-down in the rain-soaked parking lot, as if it had been flung away from our car.
In the grand scheme of things, I know it isn’t that big of a deal. But still, come on.
How are college kids approaching this election? Where I work, we’ve had debate watching parties open to the public. The communal experience of watching the debates have been eye-opening for students, who say that they value the ability to share the moment with hundreds of others, to see in real life and in real time how others — fellow students and members of the community — respond to the words of the two major party political candidates.
The togetherness, the shared experience, are a vivid contradiction to the divisiveness of the campaigns. They are a moment of hope. More photos are here.
The next Debate Watch Party is at 9 pm Wednesday, October 19, 2016. More info here.